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Immunology - Ophthalmology

AAV2-Mediated Subretinal Gene Transfer of mIL-27p28 Attenuates Experimental Autoimmune Uveoretinitis in Mice
Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Author: Ju Shao et al.

by Ju Shao, Lichun Tian, Bo Lei, Lin Wei, Yan Yang, Aize Kijlstra, Peizeng Yang


Advances in gene transfer techniques have provided long-term, safe and stable transduction of retinal cells following subretinal injection with adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors. In this study we investigated whether subretinal injection of AAV2-murine IL-27p28 vector was effective in inhibiting experimental autoimmune uveoretinitis (EAU) induced in B10RIII mice.

Methodology/Principal Findings

An AAV2 vector encoding the murine IL-27p28 gene (rAAV2-CMV-mIL-27p28) was prepared and subretinally injected into B10RIII mice (4.35×108 vector genome (v.g.)). AAV2 vector mediating green fluorescent protein (rAAV2-CMV-GFP) served as a control (5×108 v.g.). The concentration of mIL-27p28 in homogenized eyes and serum was assayed by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) after subretinal injection. Human IRBP161–180 peptide and Complete Freund’s Adjuvant were injected into mice receiving either the rAAV2-CMV-mIL-27p28 or rAAV2-CMV-GFP vector. EAU was evaluated clinically and pathologically. The level of IL-17 and IL-10 in homogenized eyes was measured on day 12 and day 21 following immunization. Delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH) and IRBP161–180–specific proliferation of lymphocytes from the spleen and lymph nodes were assayed to examine the influence of the subretinal delivery of rAAV2-CMV-mIL-27p28 on the systemic immune response. IL-27p28 was detectable by ELISA within the eyes from two weeks following subretinal injection of the rAAV2-CMV-mIL-27p28 vector and showed a sustained high expression from day 14 to 9 months with a highest expression at 5 months. Subretinal injection of the vector significantly attenuated the severity of EAU disease clinically and pathologically in association with a significantly decreased IL-17 expression and an increased IL-10 expression. The IL-27p28 vector did not affect the systemic immune response, as determined by DTH and IRBP161–180–specific lymphocyte proliferation.


A high and stable expression of IL-27p28 was observed for at least 9 months following subretinal delivery of rAAV2-CMV-mIL-27p28. The amelioration of EAU disease severity was associated with a decreased IL-17 expression and an increased IL-10 expression.